SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Spam Arrest LLC, which provides the popular SPAM ARREST software and services to eliminate email spam, finally won its five year legal battle against Hormel.
Hormel filed suit against Spam Arrest in 2002 before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (Number: 92042134), the federal administrative court charged with overseeing the national trademark office, alleging canned meat consumers would confuse the SPAM ARREST trademark with the notorious SPAM mark.
This week, a panel of three judges found that Hormel's trademark may be famous, but "that fame does not extend to computer software for filtering spam." The 63 page decision noted that the SPAM ARREST trademark is "different in connotation and commercial impression" than Hormel's.
Hormel filed dozens of similar actions against other companies using the term "spam" in connection with email, including Yahoo! (Number - 91120897), Earthlink (Number 91116405), and Google's Postini subsidiary (Number 91166098). Most of those cases settled in favor of Hormel or were suspended pending the outcome of the Spam Arrest matter.
"Hormel retained several high priced expert witnesses in an effort to deprive Spam Arrest of its lawful use of the trademark," said Derek A. Newman of Newman & Newman, lead counsel for Spam Arrest. "Spam Arrest successfully overcame that testimony, and now Spam Arrest is not only the first company other than Hormel to achieve a federal trademark registration with the term 'spam,' but also first to prevail against the processed food giant."
"We are thrilled the court affirmed our right to continue using the SPAM ARREST trademark to identify the best spam elimination software available," added Brian Cartmell, CEO of Spam Arrest. "Spam Arrest made a decision that we would not be bullied. Consumers are smarter than to confuse us with the source for meat called spam."